Thursday, March 6, 2008
Ochlockonee River State Park on Florida's "Forgotten Coast" region of the panhandle is my favorite state park. There's a serenity there engendered by the tall soughing pines and the almost imperceptible hiss of the river as it slips across the sandy banks on its daily unhurried rise and fall with the tides. The longleaf pine, my favorite evergreen, is endangered; only remnants of the great forests that stretched from Virginia south and west into east Texas remain. One such pocket of sylvan glory is at Ochlockonee, where you can also, if you take a lesson from the river and move quietly, slowly, see a red-cockaded woodpecker, endemic to the longleafs and also endangered.
I saw the bird; I breathed the tangy trees; I reflected. There's still time to save them both.